March 24th, 2016 § Comments Off on woop: Dyson to build electric cars § permalink
Dyson is developing an electric car at its headquarters in Wiltshire with help from public money, according to government documents.
The company, which makes a range of products that utilise the sort of highly efficient motors needed for an electric car such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and bladeless fans, last year refused to rule out rumours it was building one.
But on Wednesday, the government appeared to have accidentally disclosed Dyson is working on one, along with other big companies outside of the automotive industry, such as Apple.
“The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering,” said the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, published on Wednesday.
When Dyson CEO, Max Conze, was asked last year if the company was working on an electric car, he said: “We are ruling nothing out. Like our friends in Cupertino [Apple] we are also unhealthily obsessive when it comes to taking apart our products to make them better.”
Dyson recently reported profits up 20% in 2015, driven by strong growth in China, and said it plans to invest £1bn in battery technology over the next five years. Last October, Dyson bought solid-state battery company, Sakti3, for $90m, which founder Sir James Dyson said had “developed a breakthrough in battery technology.”
Asked if the company was, as the government suggested, developing an electric car, a Dyson spokesman said: “We never comment on products that are in development.”
The Guardian has also contacted the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, which encourages the roll-out of electric vehicles as a way to cut air pollution and lower carbon emissions, and is awaiting details on the exact level of funding.
Dyson, 68, has a long history of inventions. He designed the Rotork Sea Truck, a fast cargo boat in 1970, which has been used by the military and is still sold today. In 1974, he designed the Ballbarrow, a barrow with a ball replacing the wheel, having been frustrated by wheelbarrows getting stuck in mud on a building site.
His breakthrough was the bagless vaucum cleaner, which was inspired by air cyclones used in sawmills to suck up sawdust. Since then, he has created bladeless fans and the Airblade hand dryer.
Many of Dyson’s devices use small, light and efficient electric motors developed over 10 years by his company, which may find application in developing a new electric car. Dyson is a now worth several billion pounds and in 2014 pledged his company would spend £1.5bn on research and development to create future products, aiming to launch 100 new electrical products by 2018.
January 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on The UK went crazy for electric vehicles and hybrids in 2015 § permalink
2015 was a big year for electric and hybrid cars and now we have the stats to prove it. New figures released by Go Ultra Low show that 28,000 ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs) were registered last year – more than the combined total of the previous five years. What’s more, the growth of plug-in hybrids in 2015 was almost double what it was the previous year, with 14,532 sold. That’s a 94% increase on 2014.
“The UK has one of the fastest growing ultra-low emission vehicle markets in the world and these record figures show more and more people across the country are enjoying the benefits of this cheap-to-run and green technology,” said transport minister Andrew Jones. “British drivers have a wider choice of vehicles than ever before and we have increased our support for plug-in vehicles to £600 million over the next five years to cut emissions, create jobs and support our cutting-edge industries.”
So what’s driving the growth? Although Jones may credit the increase to government incentives, much of it is down to the car manufacturers themselves. There are now around 30 sustainable vehicles available in the UK, with more on the way.
The hybrid EV split
Hybrid vehicles have proved to be a popular stepping-stone for environmentally conscious consumers who aren’t quite ready for a fully electric vehicle. Last year, plug-in hybrid vehicles were the most widespread type of ULEV sold, with 18,254 registrations – a 137% increase on 2014.
Fully electric vehicle sales also increased, going up by 48% with 9,934 registrations, and that’s arguably the most important statistic. In the last year, EVs have come of age, with new refined versions of the Nissan Leaf and Renault ZOE demonstrating that electric vehicles can be affordable, sophisticated and sustainable.
At the same time, high-end cars such as the BMW i3 and the Tesla Model S have become more commonplace, demonstrating growth at both ends of the price range. However, figures show that the majority of purchases came from South East England, suggesting that a disproportionate amount of customers live around London. While that’s still positive, it shows that owners are grouped around cities, meaning issues such as range and charging availability are still worries. If sustainable transport is to truly take off, we’ll need to see the rest of the country improve its charging infrastructure.
As for the future? I predict we’ll continue to see exponential growth in 2016. Electric vehicles and hybrids are no longer a niche cornered by Tesla and Toyota. Every major manufacturer has a sustainable roadmap, and that means there’ll be more ULEVs to choose from in 2016. With the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt, and ULEVs from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes in the pipeline, this year will be crucial for sustainable transport.
January 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Electric cars will become as ubiquitous as the internet, says transport minister § permalink
Electric cars are on track to become as ubiquitous as the internet, the transport minister has said, claiming plug-in vehicle technology was reaching a “tipping point”.Andrew Jones, the roads minister, said sales of ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs) were “rocketing”, with 28,188 new ULEV cars on the road in 2015 – almost double the number in 2014, and more than the previous five years combined.
Although this remains a tiny fraction of the overall car market – with a record 2.6 million new vehicles sold last year – the Government believes by 2050 it can get “virtually every car and van on the road to be zero emission”.
In a speech this week, Mr Jones said: “The shift we are seeing reminds me of the spread of the internet in the 1990s.
“The internet started small, as a niche interest, but then it snowballed, and now it’s hard to imagine being without it.
“I think we are seeing a similar picture emerging for ultra-low emission vehicles in Britain today.
“ULEV sales are not just growing rapidly, they are rocketing.”
In 1998, just 9 per cent of households had home access to the internet – but by 2004 that had increased to more than half of all homes, ONS data suggest. Some 85 per cent of households now have home internet access, the vast majority of them with broadband connections.
Mr Jones added: “The internet only really snowballed when internet users, providers, website retailers and investors came together in sufficient numbers to create a tipping point.
“We’re reaching that tipping point with the ULEV market.”
Hybrid plug-in vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Outlander were the most popular type of ULEVs last year, with 18,254 registrations, a 137 per cent increase on 2014.
Sales of fully electric vehicles increased by 48 per cent, with 9,934 registrations last year.
Sales of ULEVs have been boosted by Government grants of up to £5,000. These grants are being reduced from March, but ministers have vowed to support a further 100,000 ULEV purchases, as well as continuing to offer grants to install home charging points.
Shifting to electric cars is seen as a crucial if the UK is to hit its long-term climate change goals, which require carbon emissions to be slashed by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050.
November 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on More Scots are plugging in electric cars § permalink
SALES of electric cars are increasing but still account for just one per cent of the motor trade in Scotland.
The Scottish Government is keen to support more people to invest in vehicles not powered by polluting fossil fuels, and more than 600 public charge points have now been installed across the country.
There are now more than 600 electric vehicle charging points in Scotland
There are also a range of financial incentives to encourage motorists to switch to an electric car. The Energy Saving Trust offers interest-free loans of up to £50,000 to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle under a new fund, while those who do take the plunge can take advantage of full grant funding via the ChargePlace Scotland programme for an electric car charge point to be installed in their home.
But although sales are up, the number of electric vehicles on the road north of the border remains comparatively low.
“In the past year we have seen a 70 per cent rise in sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is in line with the motoring industry,” said Scott Willis, sales director at Arnold Clark Group, the country’s largest car sales firm.
“Although this accounts for only one per cent of overall motoring sales, we do expect this to rise exponentially.”
In the past year we have seen a 70 per cent rise in sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is inline with the motoring industry
Scott Willis, sales director at Arnold Clark Group
Glasgow City Council, Scotland’s largest local authority, has installed 64 electric vehicle charging points across the city. This figure will rise to 78 by the end of the year.
A spokeswoman said they were a combination of rapid and fast chargers and the council also had plans to install further charging points in 2016.
The sites are a mixture of on-road, in council owned multi-storey car parks and at sporting venues such as the Emirates Arena in the east end.
Drivers can charge their electric vehicle free of charge in the city.
The scale of the task in convincing motorists that electric cars are as reliable as traditional petrol-powered vehicles was further revealed in February when the RAC Foundation reported that almost half of the charge points in Scotland were unused during one month in 2014.
There was a wide variation across Scotland, with all Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling chargers used but none of East Dunbartonshire – where the council had yet to connect its chargers to the mains.
The number of charge points has since increased.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The encouraging news is that electric car sales in the UK are at last showing signs of improvement, but we still have a charging network in Scotland that is running below capacity.
“Part of the reason for installing public charge points is to help drivers overcome their fear of range anxiety, but this does not come cheap.
“This data also suggests a good proportion of charge points are located on private premises including council sites. This is encouraging as it was always envisaged that fleet operators would lead the way in the electric revolution.”
The Nissan Leaf, which is sold for around £21,500, is currently the UK’s most popular electric vehicle, with almost 6,000 cars registered by the third quarter of 2014.
July 21st, 2015 § Comments Off on How you like Them Apples: Apple Poaches Fiat Chrysler Exec for Electric Car Dream § permalink
It’d all gone a bit quiet for a little while there when it comes to Apple’s electric car. With apparently 200 staff working on a self-driving electric minivan codenamed project “Titan“, Apple can now push that number up to 201. It’s just acquired the skills of Fiat Chrysler executive Doug Betts.
The manager for Fiat Chrysler’s global quality efforts from 2007 through 2014, Betts (whose role has yet to be divulged) is expected to work to ensure the myriad traditional car, green energy and connected tech elements that will make up the Apple car come together as a meaningful, drivable whole. Hopefully in a better state than the unreliable recent batches of Chryslers and Fiats.
As well as going on a poaching spree of Tesla talent, Apple’s also recently nabbed Paul Furgale, the deputy director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Autonomous Systems Lab, adding futher fuel to the autonomous driving fire. With Apple not expected to reveal any car plans until 2020, the long game now seems to have its major players. [WSJ]
June 30th, 2015 § Comments Off on 2016 Nissan Leaf: Gets A Larger 30Kwh Battery § permalink
Right now, we are halfway through 2015 but we haven’t heard anything regarding the second generation 2016 Nissan Leaf. According to reports from InsideEVs, the present generation Nissan Leaf could be equipped with a 30kWh battery pack on the high-end models also offer up to 105 miles of driving range per charge.
InsideEVs also comes with two unspecified dealerships that have been confirmed during this fall. The 2016 Nissan Leaf will come into the market with a 25% larger battery compared to the older 24kWh that is presently used.In accordance with the EPA testing method, this larger battery will allow 105 miles per charge, which is an an accordance with the EPA testing method, this larger battery will allow 105 miles per charge, which is an upgrade over the earlier figures of 84 miles per charge. The 24kWh pack will be present in the base model of Nissan Leaf. Meanwhile, the SV and SL models will benefit from the 6.6kw fast charger, a bigger battery, along with a CHaDEMO quick-charging port in the SL models.(visia, acenta and tekna)
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June 14th, 2015 § Comments Off on UK Electric Car Sales are shooting up and no sign of slowing! § permalink
Originally published on EV Obsession.
Electric vehicle (EV) registrations in the UK between January and May of 2015 are already roughly equal to total EV registrations in 2014, based on the most recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Apparently, there have already been 11,842 ultra-low-emission vehicles (ULEVs) registered in the UK this year (as of the end of May). This compares to 2,838 units registered during January–May 2014 — which means that more than 4 times the number of ULEVs have been registered this year as compared to 2014.
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April 23rd, 2015 § Comments Off on Electric car charging point in Beeches Car Park is BACK, fixed after six weeks § permalink
THE electric car charging point in Beeches Car Park has finally been fixed after spending six weeks out of action.
At some point before March 2 vandals broke the charging point and the council were waiting for a part to arrive before they could replace it.
Cotswold District Council used a £75,000 government grant to install charging points in Cirencester and Moreton-in-Marsh at the end of 2014.
A council spokesman said: “We’re almost there – we need to get it commissioned and then registered on Charge Your Car network (so it will have a location number to aid people who want to use it) and we are confident that this can all be done in the week commencing April 27.”
February 3rd, 2015 § Comments Off on Not just You and I: Green vehicle demand revs up as UK electric car sales quadruple § permalink
There has been a ‘remarkable surge’ in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) in the UK, with sales of plug-in hybrid cars increasing four-fold in 2014.
New annual figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed that sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) – including electric cars and hybrids – rose by 58% last year, with 51,739 new AFVs registered.
AFV sales accounted for a market share of 2.1% in 2014 – up from 1.4% a year earlier. Overall car sales increased by 9.3% to just south of 2.5 million.
“The year was particularly strong for alternatively fuelled vehicles as increased choice, coupled with a growing desire for reduced costs and greater efficiency, resulted in a quadrupling of plug-in car registrations over 2013,” explained SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
Alternative fuel vehicle registrations, 2010-1014 Photograph: edie.net
“With a variety of new plug-in models expected in 2015, this area of the market will continue to grow significantly,” added Hawes. “For the market as a whole, we expect a more stable 2015 as demand levels off.” » Read the rest of this entry «
January 20th, 2015 § Comments Off on Electric car charging points spark debate (AGAIN) § permalink
Readers have complained to us that two dedicated electric car parking spaces at Linlithgow’s Water Yett are a waste of space – but are they?
This week we are also reporting on a Friends of the Earth Scotland study which shows that both Main Street in Newton Village and Linlithgow’s High Street have pollution levels above the acceptable Scottish maximum.
Proponents of the ‘waste of space’ view claim that parking is already at a premium for the GP’s surgery, and that taking away two bays for vehicles which, it is claimed, are almost non-existent in the Burgh is foolhardy and pointless.
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